“My passion is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). It’s supposed to be a gentler form of martial arts that lets a weaker person overcome a stronger opponent.
It takes about 10 years for a person to get a black belt in BJJ, so it’s quite an accomplishment for me to get my purple belt in about four years. You really need to put in the dedication and commitment to train consistently to get to that level you want in BJJ.
Ever since I started in 2008, I have participated in competitions regionally and internationally. I recently lost against Japan’s number one ranked BJJ fighter at a tournament in Japan. It was super demoralising because I travelled all the way to Japan hoping to win, but I lost in the first round.
I was feeling down the whole day, but by the next I was already training again at an academy in Japan. You can’t be feeling sad for weeks or months; it doesn’t do you any good. The only way to improve is to pick yourself up and continue training.” – Ivan, 29
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